Posted by Kenny D. on November 14, 2000 at 08:42:54:
In Reply to: Re: posted by gary on November 14, 2000 at 01:04:20:
There's really so much to this story.
I took a videotape of the whole place before I left for the last time. I taped all the walls and ceilings and windows to show they weren't damaged. I didn't spend a lot of time on the floor tiles because I honestly never noticed they had these little chips and they probably wouldn't have show up on the tape anyway. Really really minute little damage,
As for being emboldended by the settlement, it was an awful settlement for him that he probably wishes he'd never signed - it's actually a cause of part of his vindictiveness. He took us to court, paid his lawyer god knows how much money, and ended up with a settlement (that HIS lawyer wrote, mind you) that basically lost him a month's rent ($1600), plus $3000 that he probably spent two years ago. All it got for him was the right to toss us onto the street on Nov. 1 if we didn't move. We'd let him know pretty early on, before he sent his lawyers, that we'd move on Oct. 31 anyway.
It was the settlement that outlined the 'broom-clean' phrase. He had snuck a clause in our original lease rider that said 'house will be returned to new condition.' He had just remodeled the place right before we moved in and for the most part, it was in pretty new condition. Thank god he took us to court and signed that settlement, or else that oversight in the original lease might've cost us a bundle and we wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on.
It's my impression that he was going to try to keep our $3000.00 security the minute he collected it. He never even deposited it. The checks both say "cashed" on them.
So, getting back to my original question:
IS THERE A TEXTBOOK DEFINITION FOR 'BROOM-CLEAN GOOD CONDITION' OR ARE WE JUST AT THE MERCY OF THE LANDLORD'S DISCRETION?
: Yuk. Sounds like a landlord I once had in Connecticut. Fortunately he's dead now--I think someone drove a stake through his heart.
: In this type of situation, when you are dealing with a vindictive nut, all you really can do is to come into court with the best evidence you can rustle up, and try not to get too upset.
: Do you have photos? That would be helpful.
: Reading between the lines, it looks as if the LL was emboldened by the settlement, and now wants to plunge ahead to legal victory.
: : Hi.
: : I live in NY (on long island). We've just left a bad relationship with a despicable landlord after 2 years. He is now trying to nickel-and-dime us out of our $3000.00 security deposit (which we suspect was never put into an account).
: : There is a LOT to this story which I will not explain here for space purposes. The bottom line is this:
: : After the 2nd time this landlord took us to court on bogus charges in an effort to evict us (so that he could sell his house in this unblievably high market) we signed a stipulation of settlement. The stip says that the tenant must return the premises by October 31, 2000 in "broom-clean good condition, reasonable wear and tear excepted..."
: : We removed all the garbage from the house and vacuumed the floors, there were no gaping holes in walls/floors/ceilings, etc and we spackled the small holes from picture frames, etc. We didn't go nuts mopping and sponge-cleaning the fridge, etc. Upon the walkthrough with the landlord, he felt that we should have cleaned the carpets, painted, and dusted the screens. He cited miniscule chips on the egdes of tiles where they met a hardwood floor (I never even noticed them until he pointed them out). He wants to charge us to replace the $22 dimmer light switches that we installed, even though we replaced $8 switches. All are in good working order.
: : I guess my question is, Is there a textbook definition of 'broom clean condition' and 'normal wear and tear'? If so, what is it?
: : What it comes down to is that we left the place in very good condition until looked at by a vindictive landlord witha magnifying glass. What's he entitiled to here?
: : I'd gladly give up $100 for a cleaning service just to have him out of my life.
: : Thanks in advance.
: : ~Kenny
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